Parade’s End by Daljit Nagra

‘Parade’s End’ was published in the British poet Daljit Nagra’s debut collection “Look We Have Coming to Dover!” published in 2007. This poem taps on the themes of racism and the suffering of Asian immigrants in the UK in the 20th century.

Daybreak in Alabama by Langston Hughes

Music is a powerful tool to bring harmony even in the cacophonic world, filled with inequality, injustice, and racial discrimination. In ‘Daybreak in Alabama,’ Langston Hughes tries to create a harmonious world by creating music of equality and brotherhood.

Sonnet 154 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 154,’ also known as ‘The little Love-god lying once asleep,’ describes how impossible it is for the speaker to rid himself of his love. There’s nothing he can do to stop loving the Dark Lady.

Sonnet 153 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 153,’ also known as ‘Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep,’ describes the speaker’s attempts to cure his lovesickness. He eventually fails and returns to the Dark Lady.

The Apple-Raid by Vernon Scannell

‘The Apple-Raid’ appears in Vernon Scannell’s poetry collection “The Apple-Raid and Other Poems” published in 1974. This piece explores how the poet and his friends went about collecting apples out of the town.

Hitchhiker by John Payne

‘Hitchhiker’ by John Payne is an interesting poem about a speaker’s reaction to loss. They address someone who has passed away and explore what that means for them.

Yankee Doodle

‘Yankee Doodle’ is an interesting nursery rhyme from the 1700s. It’s concerned with the actions of “Yankee Doodle” and what he does with a feather.

Sonnet 152 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 152,’ also known as ‘In loving thee thou know’st I am forsworn,’ addresses the state of the speaker’s relationship with the Dark Lady. He seems to be willing to address that there’s no future for them.

To Winter by Claude McKay

‘To Winter’ by Claude McKay is a love letter to the cold winter months. The narrator of the poem laments the arrival of spring, as it means the winter has ended.

10 of the Best Basketball Poems

On this list, readers will find ten of the best poems about basketball. They explore memories of youth, family, and friendships while at the same time celebrating the game.

Dead Deer by David Groff

‘Dead Deer’ by David Groff is a memorable poem about death. It describes a car accident in which the speaker and a deer lose their lives.

Sonnet 149 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 149,’ also known as ‘Canst thou, O cruel! say I love thee not,’ is about the speaker’s love and lust for the Dark Lady. His interest in her has evolved into an obsession that controls his life.

Sonnet by Cathy Park Hong

Cathy Park Hong’s ‘Sonnet’ is not a conventional poem having fourteen lines or a specific structure. This piece is filled with images that collectively tap on the theme of suffering.

Fallen Apples by Tom Hansen

‘Fallen Apples’ appears in Tom Hansen’s poetry collection “Fallen to Earth”. This poem records the movement of wasps through the apples fallen the night before.

White Apples by Donald Hall

The poet of ‘White Apples’ Donald Hall uses plain language and a simple style to describe the effect of a loved one’s death in a speaker’s mind. The way he misses his father is described in this poem.

Disabled by Wilfred Owen

A harrowing poem that was written by a WW1 veteran, Wilfred Owen describing the haunting loneliness of life as an injured post-war soldier.

10 of the Best Poems for Father’s Day

On this list, readers will find ten of the best poems to read in celebration of father’s day. They explore themes of child/parent relationships, love, and generational wisdom.

Sonnet 151 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 151,’ also known as ‘Love is too young to know what conscience is,’ is a lustful poem. It explores the speaker’s uncontrollable longing for the Dark Lady. 

Building the Nation by Henry Barlow

‘Building the Nation’ is one of the best-known poems of the Ugandan poet Henry Barlow. This humorous piece comments on how nation-builders contribute to their country.

Deportation by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Deportation’ appears in Carol Ann Duffy’s Somerset Maugham Award winner book of poetry “Selling Manhattan” (1987). This piece speaks on themes of exile, linguistic supremacy, and cultural dominance.

White Lies by Natasha Trethewey

‘White Lies’ by Natasha Trethewey is a poetic exploration of racial identity in the American South through three lies a girl tells about being white.

Sonnet 150 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 150,’ also known as ‘O! from what power hast thou this powerful might,’ explores the ways the Dark Lady controls Shakespeare’s speaker. She makes him love her even though she’s cruel to him

Don’t kill yourself today by Hannah Dains

‘Don’t kill yourself today’ by Hannah Dains is a thoughtful and powerful poem about suicide. The poet explores all the reasons someone has to stay alive and expresses her love for those struggling with depression.

10 of the Best LGBTQ Poems

On this list, readers will find ten of the best LGBTQ poems. They touch on topics like love, identity, and passion.

Beware: Do Not Read This Poem by Ishmael Reed

‘Beware: Do Not Read This Poem’ by Ishmael Reed is a thoughtful poem about culture and how language is used to tell stories. The poem warns against becoming too consumed within one method of storytelling.

Bonedog by Eva H.D.

‘Bonedog’ by Eva H.D. is a powerful poem about coming home. It considers what it’s like to make it through life, even when it’s mundane and painful.

10 of the Best Poems About Camping

On this list, readers will find ten of the best poems about camping. These pieces touch on topics like campfires, sleeping under the night sky, and the mystical patterns the stars form overhead.

Sonnet 148 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 148,’ also known as ‘O me! What eyes hath Love put in my head,’ uses figurative language to describe the speaker’s state of mind. He’s blinded to his mistress’s faults, just like the sun becomes blinded by rain and clouds.

Syntax by Carol Ann Duffy

In Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Syntax,’ surprising language of love lands like a lover’s warm touch and scribbles on your skin, right off the page. The Rumpus, in praise of Duffy’s poetry collection “Rapture” (2005) remarked so, that aptly applies to this poem.

Sonnet 146 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 146,’ also known as ‘Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,’ addresses the state of the speaker’s soul. He admonishes it for allowing him to worry about earthly pleasures.

Sonnet 147 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 147,’ also known as ‘My love is as a fever, longing still,’ is a dark poem. It expresses the speaker’s loss of control over his body and mind. The Dark Lady has consumed his life like an illness.

Name by Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Name’ is a beautiful love poem from her poetry collection “Rapture”. It centers on a speaker’s adoration of her beloved and how she thinks of her name.

Shooting Stars by Carol Ann Duffy

A Jew waiting to fall apart into pieces, German soldiers waiting to kill more; this theme is featured in many holocaust poems of the 20th century and Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Shooting Stars’ is one of them. This piece tells the story of a Jewish girl who speaks of the sufferings she endured.

When You Come by Maya Angelou

‘When You Come’ by Maya Angelou is a powerful piece about a past love. The poet uses figurative language to emphasize the experience of reliving the past.

The Slave Auction by Frances Harper

Have you ever imagined what it felt like observing innocent lives being traded at the slave auction? It is vividly portrayed through the eyes of Frances Harper in her poem ‘The Slave Auction’.

Money by Robert Frost

‘Money’ by Robert Frost warns readers not to stress over every expenditure. This poem’s concise and eloquent use of rhyme makes a long lasting impression on the reader.

Zoom! by Simon Armitage

‘Zoom!’ by Simon Armitage is a thoughtful poem about the vast nature of the universe. It also emphasizes the tiny role humans have to play in it.

Sonnet by George Henry Boker

‘Sonnet’ by George Henry Boker is a war-time sonnet. It was written in order to emphasize how brave soldiers are and what they sacrifice.

The Birth of the Building Society – Nationwide Poem

The poem used in the Nationwide advert, ‘The Birth of the Building Society’ by Stephen Morrison-Burke, was written to tell the origin story of building societies. It also seeks to differentiate them from banks in customer’s eyes.

Farewell, Ungrateful Traitor! by John Dryden

‘Farewell, Ungrateful Traitor!’ by John Dryden swears off men and relationships. The speaker asserts that men are incapable of being truthful or loving as much as women.

Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan

What’s actually blowin’ in the wind? What’s already there yet deliberately ignored? The answer, my friend, is there in the memorable lyrics of Bob Dylan’s best-loved song ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’.

To God by Ivor Gurney

‘To God’ is a poem of the early twentieth century. It expresses the plight of the poet persona as he laments to God about his mental illness.

The Black Man’s Burden by H. T. Johnson

What happens when Kipling’s ideas in ‘The White Man’s Burden’ pierce the soul of the blacks? Then writers like H. T. Johnson pen down ‘The Black Man’s Burden’ in response to chauvinism, white supremacy, and racism.

Harlem Hopscotch by Maya Angelou

‘Harlem Hopscotch’ by Maya Angelou is a thoughtful poem. It explores what it’s like to grow up Black in Harlem, New York.

The Harlem Dancer by Claude McKay

‘The Harlem Dancer’ by Claude McKay is a thoughtful poem about a dancer’s inner life. It speaks on the duality of what people see and what people experience.

Harlem Shadows by Claude McKay

‘Harlem Shadows’ by Claude McKay memorably addresses the lives of Black sex workers in Harlem. The poet describes their experience while also acknowledging their strength.

10 Incredible Poems of the Black Lives Matter Movement

On this list, readers will find ten incredible poems inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Some celebrate Black history, identity, and love while others mourn the loss of countless men and women, like Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Decomposition by Zulfikar Ghose

‘Decomposition’ is written by the Pakistani-American poet Zulfikar Ghose. This poem centers on a photograph of an old beggar sleeping on the pavement and contrasts artistic composition with physical decomposition.

XIV by Derek Walcott

‘XIV’ appears in Derek Walcott’s collection of poems “Midsummer”. This poem features the glorious days of Walcott’s childhood, especially how they gathered around his mother to hear stories at the stroke of eve.

Virtue by George Herbert

‘Virtue’ is one of George Herbert’s spiritual poems stressing the need of keeping a virtuous soul. Herbert creates a contrast between earthly things and a virtuous soul to make his point.

Remember Remember the 5th of November

‘Remember Remember the 5th of November’ is a commemorative poem that celebrates the capture and execution of Guy Fawkes. It is recited on Guy Fawkes day, celebrated on November the 5th.

Cargoes by John Masefield

‘Cargoes’ by John Masefield is a well-loved, short poem that explores cargo ships. The poet empathizes the way the ships have changed throughout history.

The Ballad of the Landlord by Langston Hughes

‘The Ballad of the Landlord’ is a poem that explores the relationship between a Black tenant and his white landlord. The latter refuses to fulfill his duties and the former ends up in jail.

Afterglow by Helen Lowrie Marshall

‘Afterglow’ by Helen Lowrie Marshall is a popular funeral poem. It describes a speaker’s hope that they’re remembered fondly and warmly.

Epitaph by Merrit Malloy

‘Epitaph’ by Merrit Malloy is a beautiful poem about the good that can come out of death. The speaker wants their memory used to make the world a better place.

Fee-fi-fo-fum

‘Fee-fi-fo-fum’ is a well-known chant from the story of “Jack the Giant Killer.” Dating back to at least the early 1700s, the compelling and entertaining story tells of a young boy’s daring feats and his bravery.

Holding Hands by Lenore M. Link

‘Holding Hands’ by Lenore M. Link is a light-hearted children’s poem that describes the way elephants “hold hands.” They link tails and spend their days in one another’s company.

Eagle Poem by Joy Harjo

Have you ever wondered how graciously an eagle floats in the sky by making circular movements? In ‘Eagle Poem,’ Joy Harjo depicts how it is similar to the cycle of life.

Once Upon a Time by Gabriel Okara

‘Once Upon a Time,’ written by the Nigerian poet Gabriel Okara, is a satirical poem on the modern way of greeting someone. The lack of compassion, simplicity, and brotherhood is portrayed in this poem.

Unending Love by Rabindranath Tagore

‘Unending Love’ is a beautiful love poem written by the maestro and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, popularly known as the “Gurudev” of Bengali poetry. This poem taps on the themes of spiritual love and immortality.

Barn Owl by Gwen Harwood

‘Barn Owl’ by Gwen Harwood is a powerful poem about losing one’s innocence. While using symbolism, the poet depicts a child sneaking off to shoot a barn owl.

For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon

‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon is a beautiful and powerful war poem. It addresses the losses England suffered in World War I while celebrating the soldier’s patriotism and bravery.

First Day At School by Roger McGough

‘First Day At School’ by Roger McGough is an interesting poem about a child’s experience on their first day. They are lost, confused, and feeling left out throughout the day.

I Dream a World by Langston Hughes

‘I Dream A World’ by Langston Hughes is a powerful, short poem that outlines the poet’s vision of a utopian world. There, no one is judged on the color of their skin and all people have access to the same freedoms.

Incident by Natasha Trethewey

‘Incident’ was published in the former United States Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey’s 2006 collection “Native Guard”. This poem features one of the African-American speaker’s reactions after watching the cross-burning by Ku Klux Klan members.

The Climate by Annelyse Gelman

‘The Climate’ by Annelyse Gelman is a powerful piece about the climate crisis. It is seen through an approaching wave and metaphorical beachgoers’ negligence.

Sonnet 145 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 145,’ also known as ‘Those lips that Love’s own hand did make,’ details a woman’s changing regard for the speaker. It’s a simple poem with good examples of figurative language.

No More Boomerang by Oodgeroo Noonuccal

‘No More Boomerang,’ a poem by the Aboriginal Australian political activist and poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal (also known as Kath Walker) features how the aboriginal culture is in crisis for the growing materialism and colonial hegemony.

Sonnet 144 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 144,’ also known as ‘Two loves I have of comfort and despair,’ expresses the speaker’s fears in regard to the Fair Youth’s purity. The poem is concerned with how he may be corrupted by the Dark Lady.

Coat by Jane Duran

‘Coat’ is written by the Spanish-American poet Jane Duran. This poem taps on the themes of motherhood, love, and memory.

Sleep by Kenneth Slessor

Kenneth Slessor’s ‘Sleep’ describes how an infant is born in the womb of a woman. This poem describes the journey of life from inanition to entity.

Lullaby by John Fuller

‘Lullaby’ by John Fuller is a sweet and beautiful cradle song. This poem features a baby’s innocent image by contrasting it with the external ambiance.

Sonnet 143 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 143,’ also known as ‘Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch,’ uses a simile to depict the speaker’s feelings for the Dark Lady. He is described as a crying infant desperate for his mother’s return.

Canary by Rita Dove

Rita Dove’s ‘Canary’ is a short poem that commemorates the life of Billie Holiday, an African American jazz singer.

Carpe Diem Poems

Carpe Diem poems aim to instruct the readers or make them understand/celebrate the present than focusing on the past or future.

To be, or not to be from Hamlet

“To be, or not to be,” the opening line of Hamlet’s mindful soliloquy, is one of the most thought-provoking quotes of all time. The monologue features the important theme of existential crisis.

Olives by A.E. Stallings

‘Olives’ is the title poem of A.E. Stallings’ third book of poetry by the same name. It explores the features of the fruit and its resemblance to her poems.

From the Dark Tower by Countee Cullen

‘From the Dark Tower’ by Countee Cullen is a thoughtful poem about the Black experience. It suggests that there is a brighter future on the horizon.

Suburban Sonnet by Gwen Harwood

‘Suburban Sonnet’ by Gwen Harwood is a powerful poem about a woman’s struggles with motherhood. It explores the mundane elements of her life and her lost dreams.

Sonnet 142 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 142,’ also known as ‘Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate,’ is one of the sonnets Shakespeare wrote about the Dark Lady. It compares love and sin.

In The Park by Gwen Harwood

‘In The Park’ by Gwen Harwood is a moving poem about how difficult motherhood can truly be. It describes a mother’s distress over her lost life.

Sonnet 140 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 140,’ also known as ‘Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press,’ contains the speaker’s threats towards the Dark Lady. He says he will expose her affairs and flirtatious behavior if she doesn’t change her ways.

Sonnet 139 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 139,’ also known as ‘O, call not me to justify the wrong,’ expresses the speaker’s longing that the Dark Lady stop treating him so cruelly. By the end, he gives in and accepts his fate. 

Remember by Joy Harjo

‘Remember’ by Joy Harjo is a thoughtful poem about human connection and the earth. The poet emphasizes how important it is to remember one’s history and relation to all living things.

First Love: A Quiz by A.E. Stallings

‘First Love: A Quiz,’ a poem written by the American poet A.E. Stallings is in the form of a quiz. This poem is a retelling of the mythical story of Hades and Persephone in a modernized version.

Sonnet 138 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 138,’ also known as ‘When my love swears that she is made of truth,’ is a poem about the lies at the heart of a relationship. It depicts the necessity of two lovers misleading one another. 

Bees by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Bees’ by Carol Ann Duffy is a thoughtful poem that explores writing. The poet uses bee imagery to describe the process of creation. 

Circe by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Circe’ by Carol Ann Duffy is a poem about Circe’s reassertion of control over her life and how she now considers men. 

National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month takes place each year in April. It was first introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to increase the appreciation of poetry in the United States.

I have a dream by Martin Luther King Jr.

‘I have a dream’ by Martin Luther King Jr. is a public speech the civil rights activist delivered on August 28th, 1963. In it, he called for an end to racism in the United States and all its related policies. 

Sonnet 137 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 137,’ also known as ‘Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes,’ is about the speaker’s love for the Dark Lady. It condemns love for misleading the speaker about her.

10 of the Best Poems about Money

This list of the best poems about money explores how poets think about wealth and materialism from different perspectives. It features the works of Charles Bukowski, W.H. Davies, Philip Larkin, Simon Armitage, and many more.

Penelope by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Penelope’ by Carol Ann Duffy depicts how Odysseus’s wife, Penelope, changes while she waits for him to come back from the Trojan War. She becomes a new, happier person.

The Black Walnut Tree by Mary Oliver

‘The Black Walnut Tree’ by Mary Oliver is a thoughtful poem about familial history. The poet depicts a discussion between herself and her mother. 

5 Steps to Starting a Poetry Blog

A poetry blog is a great way to express yourself and share your literary skills with the world. Here are 5 steps to easily your own poetry blog.

Salome by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Salome’ by Carol Ann Duffy is a dramatic monologue that is delivered by Salome. It occurs the morning after the death of John the Baptist.

Sonnet 136 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 136,’ also known as ‘If thy soul check thee that I come so near,’ is one of the “Will” sonnets. It describes the speaker’s lust for the Dark Lady.

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod by Eugene Field

‘Wynken, Blynken, and Nod’ is a popular children’s song by Eugene Field, best known as the “poet of childhood.” This lullaby features three little kids who sailed for the stars on a wooden shoe as their boat.

Sonnet 133 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 133,’ also known as ‘Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan,’ is a poem about the speaker’s toxic relationship with the Dark Lady. He tries to find a way to improve his circumstances but admits he’s trapped.

Delilah by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Delilah’ by Carol Ann Duffy focuses on the story of Delilah. It illuminates her individuality and how she felt about Samson. 

Sonnet 135 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 135,’ also known as ‘Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will,’ is an unusual sonnet within Shakespeare’s oeuvre. It expresses the speaker’s desire to sleep with the Dark Lady and counted among her many lovers.

Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

‘Kindness’ is one of the best-known poems of Naomi Shihab Nye. It upholds the value of kindness in the modern world and how we can incorporate this attitude into our hearts.

On Children by Kahlil Gibran

‘On Children’ is the third prose-poem of Kahlil Gibran’s best-loved work, “The Prophet”. Through this poem, the prophet Al Mustafa explores how parents should think about their children.

Gretel in Darkness by Louise Glück

‘Gretel in Darkness’ by Louise Glück is an incredibly creative poem. Through the perspective of Gretel, the poet explores what it’s like to be ignored and controlled by men. 

On Love by Kahlil Gibran

‘On Love’ appears in the second part of Kahlil Gibran’s best-known work “The Prophet”. It is a thoughtful meditation on spiritual love by the prophet Al Mustafa.

Demeter by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Demeter’ by Carol Ann Duffy is about a mother’s love for her daughter and how it transcends time. It focuses on the mythological story of Demeter and Persephone. 

Tell Me a Story by Robert Penn Warren

‘Tell Me a Story’ by Robert Penn Warren is the last section of Warren’s book-length poem “Audubon: A Vision” (1969). This poem reveals the hollowness of modernity and the ravages of time.

Flirting with lust by Pierre Alex Jeanty

‘Flirting with lust’ by Pierre Alex Jeanty is a moving depiction of how a woman feels after her relationship ended. This poem centers on the theme of love vs lust.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy by Rudyard Kipling

‘Fuzzy-Wuzzy’ is claimed to be a humorous piece written by the famous British poet Rudyard Kipling. It speaks on the gallantry of Hadendoa warriors who are referred to by the derogatory term Fuzzy-Wuzzy.

Sonnet 132 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 132,’ also known as ‘Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me,’ describes the impact the Dark Lady’s eyes have on the speaker. She controls him and he has to accept that.

Sonnet 131 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 131,’ also known as ‘Thou art as tyrannous, so as thou art,’ is a poem about how the Dark Lady’s beauty moves the speaker. He knows she’s untraditionally beautiful but he doesn’t care.

London by Samuel Johnson

To look back at a nation’s history from a poet’s perspective is an enriching exercise that enlightens modern readers regarding the follies and foibles of the age. Samuel Johnson’s ‘London’ is one such piece that throws light on the condition of 18th century England, especially London.

10 of the Best Poems about Easter

Whether you celebrate Easter religiously or enjoy the season for its spring-time weather and uplifting traditions, there is a poem on this list for you.

Sonnet 127 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 127,’ also known as ‘In the old age black was not counted fair,’ explores changing opinions on beauty and the use of makeup in Shakespeare’s contemporary world.

And Because Love Battles by Pablo Neruda

‘And Because Love Battles’ by Pablo Neruda is about a social battle, two lovers fight for unification. This poem presents the theme of love and its power to break through all the obligations.

12 Best Earth Day Poems

On this list, readers will find a few of the best poems to celebrate Earth Day by authors likes Emerson, Wordsworth, Dickinson, and Thoreau.

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church – by Emily Dickinson

‘Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –’ is one of Emily Dickinson’s best-known poems. It features the poet’s growing disbelief regarding the customary Christian rituals and her intention to seek salvation without resorting to the conventional means.

You say you love; but with a voice by John Keats

‘You say you love; but with a voice’ also known by the refrain, “O love me truly!” deals with a speaker’s physical passion for his beloved. It is believed to be John Keats’ earliest love poem.

Sonnet 126 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 126,’ also known as ‘O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy pow’r,’ is the final Fair Youth sonnet. It is a beautiful exploration of time and the inevitability of death.

Sonnet 125 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 125,’ also known as ‘Were’t ought to me I bore the canopy,’ is an expression of the speaker’s love for the Fair Youth. He declares the type of love he’s prepared to give and what he wants in return.

Sonnet 124 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 124,’ also known as ‘If my dear love were but the child of state,’ is a poem about the speaker’s superior love. It has withstood a great deal and will last the test of time. 

Sonnet 120 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 120,’ also known as ‘That you were once unkind befriends me now,’ is one of several sonnets the speaker spends apologizing for his infidelity. He hopes their sins will cancel one another out. 

Sonnet 121 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 121,’ also known as ‘‘Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed,’ is a poem about corruption and honesty. The speaker declares his intolerance of hypocrites who try to judge him. 

Sonnet 118 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 118,’ also known as ‘Like as, to make our appetites more keen,’ by William Shakespeare uses metaphors to depict the current state of the speaker and Fair Youth’s relationship.

Sonnet 123 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 123,’ also known as ‘No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change,’ is a poem about time and change. The speaker asserts that time isn’t going to change him as it does others. 

Sonnet 122 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 122,’ also known as ‘Thy gift, thy tables, are within my brain,’ explores the speaker’s rejection of a simple gift he received from the Youth. He explains it away through a return to his regular devoted attitude. 

Pad, Pad by Stevie Smith

‘Pad, Pad’ is written by the English poet Florence Margaret Smith, also known as Stevie Smith. This poem deals with the separation of two lovers and how the speaker feels long after the break-up.

Ithaka by C. P. Cavafy

‘Ithaka’ is a Greek language poem, written by the Egyptian poet Constantine Peter Cavafy. This piece features Odysseus’s journey to Ithaca, his home island.

Jack Sprat

‘Jack Sprat’ is a popular English nursery rhyme that was published in Samuel Arnold’s children’s songbook “Juvenile Amusement” published in 1797. This rhyme was an English proverb from the mid 17th century.

The Great Realisation by Tomfoolery

‘The Great Realisation’ is a thought-provoking poem written by the kiwi-born English poet Tomos Roberts, also known by his pen name Tomfoolery. This poem depicts the impact of Covid-19 across the world and how it shaped a new, bright, and compassionate world.

Because I Liked You Better by A. E. Housman

‘Because I Liked You Better’ by A. E. Housman is a love poem that taps on the theme of unrequited love. Like his “A Shropshire Lad” poems, it also touches on the theme of death.

The Secret by John Clare

‘The Secret’, a poem by the English poet John Clare speaks on a speaker’s secrecy of feelings concerning a lady. This piece glorifies the beauty of the lady and the speaker’s dedication to her.

Ode to Evening by William Collins

‘Ode to Evening’ is one of the famous odes written by the English poet William Collins. This transitional poem centers on the natural setting during the evening.

Enlightenment by Natasha Trethewey

‘Enlightenment’ by Natasha Trethewey is a powerful poem about race and racism. The poet depicts the ways in which history can be interpreted.

A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day by John Dryden

‘A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day’ is a well-known poem of John Dryden, written on the occasion of Saint Cecilia’s Day (22nd November 1687). It praises the power of music and the patron St. Cecilia in an awe-inspiring tone.

the ISM by Wanda Coleman

‘the ISM’ is a quite unconventional poem written by the American poet Wanda Coleman. This piece touches on a variety of concepts with which the suffix “-ism” can be added.

The Green Beret by Ho Thien

‘The Green Beret’ is written by a Vietnamese poet Ho Thien. It described a tragic story of a Vietnamese boy whose father was killed by an American soldier named Green Beret.

The Death of Slavery by William Cullen Bryant

‘The Death of Slavery,’ a poem by William Cullen Bryant is written just after the American Civil War ended. It talks about the personified slavery, whose reign has ended and the slaves are freed from shackles of bondage.

Miz Rosa Rides the Bus by Angela Jackson

‘Miz Rosa Rides the Bus’ is written by a prominent member of the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC), Angela Jackson. It dates back to the late 19th century when the Jim Crow laws existed.

History as Process by Amiri Baraka

‘History as Process’ is one of the celebratory poems of Black History Month. It evaluates the history of the African-Americans and how it is important for the poet, Amiri Baraka.

A Brief History of Hostility by Jamaal May

‘A Brief History of Hostility’ is written by the modern African American poet Jamaal May. This poem explores the themes of oppression and war with an implied reference to slavery.

William Butler Yeats Biography

William Butler Yeats wrote about everything from folklore to Irish nationalism. He is one of the most important poets of the 20th Century.

Wine Tasting by Kim Addonizio

‘Wine Tasting’ by Kim Addonizio skillfully delves into a speaker’s memories. The poet depicts the experience of drinking wine and all the connected thoughts and emotions it can evoke. 

Praise Song for the Day by Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander read the poem, ‘Praise Song for the Day’ at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009. It is an occasional poem praising the Americans’ role in nation-building.

Rape Joke by Patricia Lockwood

‘Rape Joke’ by Patricia Lockwood was published on the website The Awl in July 2013. In this prose-poem, Lockwood shares her memory of an incident of rape that happened with herself.

The Good Life by Tracy K. Smith

‘The Good Life’ by Tracy K. Smith is an incredibly relatable poem. In it, the poet asks the reader to consider their relationship with money and what the ‘good life’ really is.

Meditations in an Emergency by Frank O’Hara

‘Meditations in an Emergency’ appears in the book of poetry by Frank O’Hara, first published in 1957. This bitterly humorous piece deals with the theme of unrequited love.

One Today by Richard Blanco

‘One Today’ by Richard Blanco marked the day of Barack Obama’s second inauguration In 2013. This poem features how Americans collectively shape the nation with their hard work and tireless efforts.

Of History and Hope by Miller Williams

Stanley Miller Williams, also known as Miller Williams read the poem ‘Of History and Hope’ at the second inauguration of President Bill Clinton. This poem talks about the importance of history for the betterment of a nation like America.

On the Pulse of Morning by Maya Angelou

‘On the Pulse of Morning’, famous till today for the emotive and forceful recitation of the poem by Maya Angelou, is one of the U.S. presidential inauguration poems.

12 Poems about Change

Change affects everyone, whether it comes with time, with shifts in relationships, jobs, or one’s emotional state.

Water by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Within ‘Water,’ Emerson personifies the force, depicting it as having its own will and the ability to make choices for itself and for civilization. 

September by Ted Hughes

‘September’ by Ted Hughes is a moving poem that touches on a troubled and important relationship.

Snow Vision by Rita Reed

‘Snow Vision’ is a beautiful short poem that uses natural images, such as that of a tree, the snow, the wind, and the sun, to craft a fleeting scene.

Active vs. Passive Voice

The difference between active voice and passive voice is an important one, but not one that’s always easy to distinguish.

I Am! by John Clare

‘I Am!’ by John Clare is a powerful poem about a speaker’s struggle with depression, loneliness, and a desire to find peace in Heaven. 

Biography of William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth was an English poet who was born on April 7th, 1770, and whose poetry is some of the most influential in the English language. 

[How to] Analyze Poetry with SMILE

While reading a poem, a question often triggers thoughtful readers, “how to analyze this poem?” If one has this hack pre-installed in mind, the process won’t seem tedious anymore!

The Crunch by Charles Bukowski

‘The Crunch’ is a moving poem filled with memorable descriptions of society’s lost men and women and our treatment of one another. 

The Old Familiar Faces by Charles Lamb

‘The Old Familiar Faces’ is a poem written by the great essayist of the Romantic period, Charles Lamb. This poem features the theme of remembrance of the old days.

Address to Slavery by Samuel Wright

‘Address to Slavery’ by Samuel Wright was published in The Weekly Anglo-African on 18th February 1860. It is an impassioned address to the personified “slavery”.

The Mothering Blackness by Maya Angelou

‘The Mothering Blackness’ by Maya Angelou is a poem about motherhood and love. The poet uses unforgettable images within this piece that portray the complexities of relationships.

The Negro Girl by Mary Darby Robinson

‘The Negro Girl’ is written by a celebrity poet of England, Mary Darby Robinson. This poem presents a lyrical story of a negro girl, Zelma, and her lover Draco, held captive for selling him as a slave.

What Makes a Poet Great?

Scholars, writers, and lovers of poetry have all asked the same question at some point in their lives, what makes a poet great?

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